CANADIAN BOXING HISTORY and THE WINTER GAMES:
- By Brian W. Zelley
"Beyond the River of Tears"
From the Seventies to 2010,
amateur boxing has been an
important part of the
Canada Winter Games, but
for 2014 the great journey has
come to an end. The sport of
amateur boxing has received
a body blow from the
Canada Games decision makers,
and not even the Premier of
Nova Scotia could stop that
decision. When the Games comes to one of the best boxing cities
in Canada in 2014, there is no scheduled boxing tournament
for the Winter Games. Despite this setback, Canadian boxers,
coaches and officials of the past can take pleasure in knowing
that they have contributed much to the history of the Winter Games,
and the Games served as an important stepping stone for many
of our top boxers who have brought pride and excellence to the
sport of amateur boxing and to Canada in International
tournament from the Commonwealth Games to the Olympics.
IN THE BEGINNING: 1971
(two of the original boxer in
the Canada Winter Games
**Neil Austin and Joe Cooke**
Although the first winter
games took place in 1967,
boxing joined the Games
in 1971 in Saskatoon,
but it was not a youth
boxing show as some top
name boxers from Canada
were part of the Saskatoon
showdown. Some of the names to remember
include: Buzz Montour, Carroll Morgan, Chester Douglas,
Dale Anderson, Jack Meda, Jerry Day, Jim Titley, Joe Cooke,
Neil Austin and Steve Tohill. These would be some of the
pioneers of boxing's role in the Games. And over the years,
there would be many more to add to the history books.
1975: THE LETHBRIDGE GAMES
*Of interest, for team BC, the name
TOHILL would appear for the second
time, but there were many others
from across Canada that would join the
Winter Games experience such as
Derrick Hoyt, Corky Kaulius, Brad Hortie,
Steven Nolan and Chris Clarke.
1979: BRANDON, MANITOBA
*For 1979, there would be about 78
boxing folk entered from across Canada
including some of the well known
National boxers: Brian Nolan, Don Poole, Shane Anderson,
Mark Collins, Peter Britt and Ken Johnson. Some of the
others from Mark Adams to Danny Young were:
Joe Pendry, Brian Wise, Jeff Williamson, Sonny Wicks,
Kelly Valberg, and Glen Friday.
THE EIGHTIES: 1983 and 1987
*Some of the names from 1983 would include many
old familiar names in boxing such as Asif Dar and Rick Duff.
A sample of the others were: Ron Paskie, Curtis Fidler,
Randall Thompson and Gary Wood.
The 1987 event would include some past National junior
champions and some others of note:
*Coaches - Bob Edgett, John Kovak, Kai Yip and Yvon Michel,
*Some of the boxers of note: Jeff Hill, Willy Curry, Tony Francis,
Tony Duffy, Eric Grenier, Bill Irwin, Michael Strange and
THE NINETIES: 1991, 1995 and 1999
*During the Nineties there would be many new faces
on the Winter Games' stages with new coaches taking
the place of the old veterans and a new crop of boxers
to lead the charge. Some of those boxers would move
up and forward to the International stage in major
Some of the names of the Nineties:
Mark Collins, Doug Bolianatz, Raymond Doiron,
Joe Stack, Larry Fleming, and Dave Habib.
Some of the boxers of note include:
Casey Patton, Stephen Gallinger, Mike Sound,
Adam Trupish, Jean Pascal and Arash Usmanee.
A NEW CENTURY and THE LAST GAMES for amateur boxing:
A Sample of the names of those that were there:
THE END OF THE ROAD FOR BOXING
*Before the most recent Games had seen the light of day
in Nova Scotia, the word was out that this would be the
end for amateur boxing in Canada's Winter Games.
The boxing activity in the Nova Scotia hosted Games
were a great success, but the enthusiasm of those
involved and the fans and even the Premier of the
Province was not good enough for the decision makers
of the Canada Games. With defeat, comes all sorts of
reason, but whatever the reasons, a great tradition that
began in 1971 will be killed-off by the decision makers.
THE FINAL LEGACY is a RIVER OF TEARS
*The river of tears, teardrop by lonely teardrop,
will never wash away the pain and the loss but for
forty or so years members of amateur boxing in
Canada sacrificed much to be part of the
National sports scene with pride and enthusiasm.
The pain and the sorrow will remain, but those
that participated will be remembered, and the
achievements will never be lost.
THE FUTURE ???????? WHO CAN SAY WHAT